I don’t know if the Brewers know it or not, but it takes more than offense to win games.
It also takes more than quality starts.
It kind of takes a little of both.
Not to mention runners in scoring position. It helps to bring them home.
Coming off a (supremely) unsuccesful roadtrip, the Crew came back to Miller Park last week and won 5 of 6, including a sweep of the Pirates. (But big deal. The Pirates + Miller Park = LOSERS.)
The homestand started with a Zack Greinke win over San Diego, another win that almost got away from them and then an utterly embarassing loss to wrap that series, which saw comebacks from both the Brewers and Padres, ultimately ending 13-6, thanks to Kameron Loe talking his way into the game. (I won’t even get started on how RR is on my bad side because of that decision…)
After taking a day to think about what they’d done (8 runs in one inning? Seriously, boys. Crap on a spatula), the Pirates were a welcome opponent. The entire baseball community knows Milwaukee pretty much owns Pittsburgh and such was the case over the weekend. Yovani Gallardo, The Narv Dog (yes, he’s earned it back) and Greinke all put another notch in their win columns and the offense came alive (finally!) to move the Brewers back up to 3rd in the NL Central race.
Milwaukee rode the momentum of the sweep all the way to Los Angeles, where Shaun Marcum pitched a doozie and the Brewers only needed 2 runs to bring the winning streak to 4, their longest so far. Though, it could’ve been worse had Carlos Gomez not pulled back a no-doubter from Juan Uribe. Last night, however, the Brewers were not so fortunate. The Dodgers only came up with 3, inlcuding a 2-run opposite field homerun from Top 10 Hottie Matt Kemp. The third run didn’t come until the 8th and as it turned out, LA didn’t even need it. The 4-game streak ended with a 3-0 loss.
The big issue, even though Milwaukee and Los Angeles split the series, is RISP. The Brewers left 12 men stranded in Monday’s win but went 0-9 last night.
Yah. Twenty-one baserunners that never made it home. Blurg.
Not that I stayed up to watch either game. Stupid West Coast…
So tonight the Brewers will try to put all the pieces together as San Diego hosts another weird, 2-game series. Gallardo (4-2, 4.88) faces Dustin Moseley (1-5, 3.40). Given the way the two teams performed just a week ago, at this point, it’s anyone’s series.
What’s unfortunate for the Crew is that they have all the elements in place to win the games they’re supposed to win (like against last-place teams…) but they need to find a way for those elements to consistently work together.
True, this may be a little premature. And in actuality, it should really be called the 2009 Top 10 Hotties because this is based on players and performance from last season, but honestly, who cares? It’s really just for my own personal enjoyment, afterall. But this list is official. (For girly baseball nerds, anyway.) For the duration of the 2010 season, I will refer back to it, make amends when someone pisses me off (see #8) and shuffle guys around based on whether or not they’re on my good side at the time.
I’ve chosen not to do the day-by-day countdown like I did last year because **shocker** the Top 3 are the same. Yes, sometimes even Skip Schumaker’s performance doesn’t weigh in on the decisions. If it did, every time he led off and didn’t get on base, it would knock him down a peg. Hell, he’d be well off the list by now. But alas, some things cannot be disputed. Hotness is one of those things.
So without further ado, the Top 10 for 2010.
Ryan Church, Pittsburgh Pirates
First of all, thank you, Ryan, for staying in the National League. Church was oft out last season with various injuries (which is no surprise. Concussions, much?) but I feel fortunate enough to have gotten to see him at Miller Park on a couple of occasions. And by fortunate, I mean downright giddy. Ordinarily, Church isn’t the kind of guy I’d see on the street and think, “damn,” but on the field? Well, in a baseball uniform, there’s little you’ve got to do to turn my head.
And overall, Ryan Church doesn’t do much. He’s a career .272 hitter and his OBP and SLG are only slightly higher. Church has played for some notoriously bad teams, too. Well, not bad, just not good. And he’s continuing that tradition with the Pirates for 2010. I mean, you could do worse, I suppose. But Pittsburgh is rebuilding and going with Church isn’t such a bad thing.
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
The only time you will hear me say anything positive about the Yankees is when I’m talking about good looking guys. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t even see a Yankee on this list, but if it weren’t for that damn World Series last year, I probably wouldn’t have fallen for Robinson Cano. Have you ever seen such perfect teeth? And this girl is all about good oral hygiene.
This poor guy has played his entire career so far with the Yankees but, you know, he’s been holding his own. He managed to scrape by in ’06 by batting a mere .342 and last season eked out .320. And, he’s just one of those guys you love to watch play. He’s young, energetic and hot. What more could you ask for?
Manny Parra, Milwaukee Brewers
So what if Manny’s Josh Hartnett-esque good looks haven’t quite caught on yet? I’m still on board. He’s tall and brooding and looks great in high socks – all pluses for me.
And so what if his ERA has done nothing but balloon since his debut in 2007? He’s been kicked off the list once already. And this position is a demotion from his #5 spot last year. Poor Manny just has to learn to deal with pressure and the occasional bad game. Plus, he’s competing for a job this year so I’m hoping that, all things considered, he finally has a stand-out year for the Brewers. Lord knows he (and they) need it.
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Ahhh, another set of beautiful chompers! Joe’s slipped down in the ratings since last year too, but that’s most definitely not performance based. I just fell in love with some new guys and comparatively, being tall and having nice teeth won’t get you everywhere. But it will get you JJ Hardy’s spot in the Top 10. (Hardy is nowhere near the list this year, btw.)
Joe Mauer easily had the most talked about year in ’09. He won the AL MVP without question as he and his .365 average couldn’t be beat. (Not to mention that his first at-bat after coming off an off-season back injury produced a home run – a small glimpse of things to come.) 2010 will be another big year for Joe, as he’s nearing a pretty big contract extension with the Twins. Awe, such the hometown hero.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
I never thought much about Matt Kemp being a hottie. That is until I saw him make some appearances on Sports Soup. And, well, yum! I’m a sucker for a guy in glasses. And a guy that knows how to dress. And a guy with a great jawline. And since Kemp’s got all three of those going on off the field, he definitely qualifies as an on-field hottie, as well.
After watching Mike Cameron in centerfield the past couple of seasons, I’ve been spoiled by hotdogging plays. And by spoiled, I mean watching him go over the top for a routine play and miss. Watching Kemp play last year was way more entertaining because unlike Cam, he only had 2 errors. At the plate, Matt did pretty well, batting .297 and was nearing a 30-30 season, stealing 34 bases but coming in just 4 shy of 30 homers.
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
I came across a picture of Andre at a signing event in a work newsletter and was shocked at how I’d not considered him for the list before. Shocked. There isn’t much to elaborate on other than he’s gorgeous.
Last season Andre batted .272 with 31 home runs and 106 RBIs but had a great post-season run for the 8 games the Dodgers played. Ethier hit .355 with 3 homers and 6 RBIs. Along with Kemp, the Dodgers are boasting a great looking outfield. Manny Ramirez brings them down a bit, but with the other 2, he doesn’t have to be hot.
Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates
Who would’ve ever thought with guys like Ryan Doumit and the brothers LaRoche that the Pirates would’ve ever had 2 players on the Top 10 Hotties list? Well, enter the 2009 season and Garrett Jones. Holy hell, what a good looking man. I recall watching a Brewers-Pirates game on TV last year and seeing Jones for the first time. If I weren’t already sitting, my knees would’ve gone weak. That jaw, the scruff, 6’4″, not to mention one of the most perfect profiles I’ve ever seen – what’s not to love?
Moreover, Garrett Jones made a push (along with Casey McGehee) as one of the older rookies in the game last season. At 28, he batted .293 and hit 44 RBIs and 21 home runs. I saw quite a few of those home runs because he hit what seemed like, oh, all of them, against the Brewers.
Skip Schumaker, St. Louis Cardinals
Yes, Skip again. Easily one of the hottest. Again, a sucker for a great scruff-covered jawline and he’s still holding on to the title of “Best Team Photo.” Seriously. Every other player manages to look like they’re posing for a mugshot. Not Skip. After my roadie to St. Louis at the end of last season, I decieded if I ever had to move there for any reason, I could handle it. 1. Because the city is awesome and 2. because of Skip Schumaker making it a little easier to not hate the Cardinals so much. What Skip lacks in height (he’s only 5’10” compared to the 6’+ crowd on the rest of the list) he makes up for in looks from the neck up.
Now, as I said earlier, performance would ordinarily warrant a hiatus from the list, but Schumaker managed a .303 average last year. He could’ve fooled me because every time I saw him in action, he wasn’t doing much at the plate. As a leadoff hitter, I feel like he should be doing more, but Tony LaRussa seems to like him in that spot. He’s also a really useful player on the field, as he’s an experienced outfielder that took over main duties at 2B for the Redbirds last year.
Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
I mean, honestly. If it weren’t for, well, nothing. I find nothing wrong with this man. Even the flavor savor doesn’t bother me because Chase Utley can do anything he freaking wants to. It’s no wonder he’s so beloved by The Gang, Mac, in particular.
He’s a power-hitting second baseman. “Do you know how rare that is?” Last year, Chase hit .282 in the regular season and hit 31 homers. His post season was even better. He batted .296 and hit 6 homers, 5 of which came in the World Series alone. Not too shabby. Chase Utley is one of the main reasons the Phillies are my second favorite NL team.
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Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
As I’ve said many times before, Ryan is a stud. He’s the total package. He’s a tall, ripped, major league baseball player who’s got a bit hardware to back up the goods (ROY, a couple Silver Sluggers – you know). I like the attitude. I like, in his words, the swagger. It works in his favor because what girl doesn’t fall for the bad boy? And it doesn’t hurt when the bad boy is hot.
But we all know what Ryan is capable of on the field, too. He finished out ’09 with a .320 average, 114 RBIs and 32 HRs and led the National League with 203 hits. Braun continues to be one of the best players around today and I look forward to another stellar season in 2010. And I look forward to just looking at him, too.
Well, there they are. The 2010 Top 10 Hotties in all their glory. I hope you enjoyed my clearly feminine view on the Boys of Summer. Well, some of them anyway. Trust me, it’s hard work narrowing the list down to just 10. The few that got bumped from last year’s list are still lingering along with a handful of newbies, just ready to take someone’s place should anyone falter this season. But fear not, if that does happen, the loyal readers of A Girl’s View will be the first to know. Because I know you all care so much.